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Dyke and Webster part company

Roger Webster and Black Dyke have parted with immediate effect as rumours fly to who will replace him in the hottest cornet seat of all.

Roger Webster


In what could be one of the biggest news shocks of 2005, 4BR understands that Roger Webster has left his position as Principal Cornet of the current European and British Open Champions, Black Dyke, with immediate effect.

Rumours have been circulating for some time that he had been involved in trying to put together a rescue package for the musical instrument makers Besson, which 4BR also understands has proved not to be successful.

sources have informed 4BR that it is understood that Roger is extremely disappointed that his second five year spell as Principal Cornet at Black Dyke has come to an end in this way...4BR

During this time, it has been rumoured that the band had been looking at a potential successor to him if that deal had been a success, but despite assurances from the player that he could give the required commitment to Black Dyke over the coming 12 months regardless of the outcome of those negotiations, sources suggest Black Dyke has decided to put a new Principal Cornet player in place as soon as possible.

Assurances made

Those sources have informed 4BR that it is understood that Roger is extremely disappointed that his second five year spell as Principal Cornet at Black Dyke has come to an end in this way and that the band had taken the decision to proceed in the direction of finding a replacement for him despite his assurances.

New horn required

It is also understood by 4BR that Leslie Howie has also left the band as Principal Horn, with the decision being made prior to that of Roger Webster. Sources have also informed 4BR that she too is very disappointed at the decision of the band to terminate her position with immediate effect.

shortened odds on Richard Marshall

Although it is unclear to whom will take over his position as Principal Cornet, the rumour mill has already started and it is understood that the new top man will be announced in the next few days with odds at the banding book makers being shortened to odds on that Richard Marshall, currently at Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) could very well be the next man in the most famous hot seat in banding. Further names being bandied around the banding world have also suggested possible twin appointments on cornet and horn from other leading Yorkshire bands or even from abroad.

A source told 4BR that names such as Stuart Lingard and Sheona White had been mentioned as well as Raf Van Looveran and Martin Armstrong, both currently plying their trade on the continent. It is though the name of the talented Richard Marshall at Grimethorpe that seems to be who people are expecting to be announced as the next in line to some of the most famous cornet players in banding history to occupy the top chair at Queensbury.

Although there has been no official announcement from either parties as yet, it is understood by 4BR that a more formalized announcement from both Roger Webstsr and from Black Dyke will be released in the printed press on Thursday.

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James Chamberlain

BMus (Hons) PGCE
Conductor, Teacher